Big Data raises concerns about more than just privacy. The debate opening up before us is an essential one for a culture dominated by science and technology. Who determines if a technology is adopted? Who determines when and how it will be deployed? Who owns our data? What are our rights in this new world?
We live in a world where science and technology are driving forces, shaping the trajectory of human culture. From climate change to energy resources to doping in sports, how should the science we discover inform policy and politics?
Are most people's political opinions based on information or illusion? Commentator Tania Lombrozo discusses recent research on confronting our own lack of understanding when it comes to questions of complex public policy.
Big Data promises a future where our Big Cities become more flexible and responsive to human needs, argues commentator Adam Frank. While danger may lurk in the data sets, the fact is that we may need to mine Big Data for solutions to our everyday problems.
It's the end of the academic year and students everywhere are taking tests. What for? Commentator Tania Lombrozo suggests we should shift our focus from testing for assessment to testing for learning.
Improvements in science education can take many forms. Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says that one of the easiest and most rewarding is to simply put real research scientists in front of students. A few volunteer hours from a scientist can change how a student sees the world forever.
Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), explains in a video how she sees parallels between the rejection of evolution and of the rejection of climate science.
Faculty at San Jose State University are rebelling against pressure from their own administration to integrate MOOCs — massively open online courses — into their teaching. Across the country the issue is being debated on campuses and in state houses. Commentator Alva Noë's dips his toe into the conversation.
Recent scientific research links hearing impairment with dementia. Commentator Barbara J. King says widespread availability of closed-captioned films could help.
Rand Paul's nearly 13-hour filibuster has renewed the nation's debate over the use of drones and targeted killing. Commentator Tania Lombrozo says findings from moral psychology should give us pause to think and reflect when we consider the use of armed drones by our government.
In Virginia last month, a transgendered person was made to leave a sex-segregated public bath because of customer complaints. Commentator Barbara J. King sees this discriminatory act as another example of the "born male-born female" dichotomy ingrained in our culture.
In the wake of the Hubble Space Telescope and the discovery of the Higgs boson, should we continue to pursue big science projects, in spite of their costs? Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says it's a no brainer.
There was big news this week about U.S. laboratory chimpanzees heading for sanctuary. Barbara J. King considers a new website that urges us to think of these primates not as nameless research subjects, but instead as distinct individuals.
The symbiosis between law and power is fractal in nature and can be found at all levels of hierarchy in the legal system. Laws enable new strategy spaces for actors within the system. Creative actors seek adjacent-possible actions within the prevailing legal environment to achieve their desired ends.
Can intelligence be increased through upbringing? Commentator Tania Lombrozo discusses a new synthesis of research on how to raise young children's IQ. The findings suggest modest changes for most parents, but profound changes for access to early childhood education.